Datakit in China: the road so far and the road ahead
For a market-leading vendor of CAD data exchange solutions like Datakit, China is potentially a big market that should start to deliver results in 2009.
Since October 2007, Datakit’s Jonathan BARS has been out in China analyzing the market, making contact with local businesses, and assessing the opportunities to sell products from the company’s four ranges:
- CrossCad/Ware, a product designed for software vendors, enabling them to integrate Datakit’s data transfer technology as a component of their own solutions;
- CrossCad/Sta and CrossCad/Plg. These two ranges of tools convert native CAD or neutral format files, and are supplied to design offices via a worldwide dealer network either as stand-alone solutions (CrossCad/Sta) or plug-ins (CrossCad/Plg);
- CrossXpert, a powerful conversion modeler that also integrates sophisticated functions for analyzing and correcting models.
Based in the southern city of Guangzhou, Jonathan BARS has been combing the country, meeting industrialists, software dealers carrying CAD and other design products, and software solution vendors. After sounding out the terrain, he has been collaborating with a company specialized in business building in Asia to conduct an in-depth market survey. This groundwork has enabled BARS to build up an understanding of how the different players are positioned on the market, and assess the real needs for CAD data exchange solutions, over and above the standard software tools.
BARS explains: “our discussions have drawn a very positive response from vendors. They have been particularly impressed by the speed of Datakit’s solutions and by the broad range of supported CAD data. They realize that our solutions deliver real added value that can enhance the quality of 3D data exchange, a process that they currently consider too slow and incomplete. They appear to be ready and willing to work with us and to integrate our technology. Our solutions are currently undergoing the usual industry tests to demonstrate their reliability. CrossXpert also appears to address the needs of Chinese industry for correcting CAD model data produced by design offices, especially for people who design and use molds and other manufacturing tools.”
In recent months, Datakit has been working closely with SolidWorks’ operations in Asia and China, meeting their dealers. As a SolidWorks GOLD partner, Datakit enjoyed red carpet treatment at the SolidWorks Innovation Day 2008. During the week, BARS was able to meet representatives of SolidWorks who then invited him to present Datakit’s products to their customers as part of the unveiling of the new SolidWorks 2009.
After 18 months unraveling the secrets of the market and developing contacts with its players, Datakit is taking a new step forward. It is currently examining several possible locations with a view to setting up an agency in China. Once the decision has been taken, Datakit will be looking to hire a Chinese national and adapting its products and marketing tools to the Chinese market place.
Francis Cadin, CEO of Datakit said: “The Chinese market really surprised us. We were amazed how little 3D is deployed, but even more surprised when we realized just how keen Chinese industry is to introduce leading edge technology. Given the pace at which companies are buying into CAD, the whole issue of CAD data exchange will soon become vital.”
He concluded: “We have the advantage of being the first in our field to locate in China. This is a decisive asset and we must make the most of it.”
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